Feud Over a Fortune
The back-and-forth comes amid a bitter family dispute over Michael Jackson's estate, estimated at $1 billion, that was left to his mother and his children.
In a recent letter to the executors of Michael Jackson's estate, Randy, Jermaine, Janet and Rebbie Jackson called the will of the late pop star "fake, flawed and fraudulent." They claim its signature is false: That though the document gives Michael's location on the day he signed as Los Angeles, they know him to have been in New York. They accuse the two executors, John Branca and John McClain, of everything from coercing family matriarch Katherine Jackson, to mishandling business deals, to getting too high of a cut for themselves from those same deals.
In response to the siblings' letter, the executors of the estate, Branca and McClain, issued a statement denying the accusations.
"Any doubts about the validity of Michael's will and his selection of Executors were thoroughly and completely debunked two years ago when a challenge was rejected by the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the California Court of Appeals and, finally, the California Supreme Court," they wrote in the statement.
"We are saddened that false and defamatory accusations grounded in stale Internet conspiracy theories are now being made by certain members of Michael's family whom he chose to leave out of his will. We are especially disheartened that they come at a time when remarkable progress has been made to secure the financial future of his children by turning around the Estate's finances as well as during a time when so many of Michael's fans, old and new, are enjoying his artistry through exciting new projects," they wrote.
On Wednesday, Jermaine Jackson issued a plea for peace in the family and withdrew his signature from the letter.
"Mistakes have been made and irrational things have been said on both sides in a highly-charged emotional environment," he wrote on Twitter. "It is time for us all to draw a line in the sand and move towards peace, co-operation, love and healing. I truly hope that we can find it in our hearts to do so. Because above and beyond anything else, what matters … is family."
While Katherine Jackson was in Arizona, an incident took place July 23, in which the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department responded to a reported "family disturbance" at the Jackson family home in Calabasas, Calif.
There were reports that Randy, Jermaine Jackson and Janet showed up, broke through a security gate and apparently tried to take Michael's children. At the time, Sandra Ribera, a lawyer for Katherine Jackson, described the scene as "chaos," and also claimed that Janet grabbed Paris' cell phone.
ABC News had previously cited a TMZ report that Janet Jackson had slapped Paris, but on Wednesday TMZ issued a retraction.
A statement from TMZ said: "Janet Jackson did not slap or verbally abuse Paris Jackson during a confrontation at the Jackson family home in Calabasas last week. Although we believed the story to be true when we published it, we have now determined it was not correct . Janet did not slap or otherwise touch Paris, nor did she verbally abuse her."
Jermaine addressed that incident, too, on Twitter, saying he and his siblings went to the home to make arrangements for the children to see their grandmother.
"We were denied that access by security — and it was clear that mutual suspicions had allowed events to spiral out of control. I regret that events were ever allowed to reach such a stage. I regret any distress caused to Prince, Paris and Blanket. That was never, ever the intention of myself, Janet, Rebbie or Randy. Moving forward, the most effective way to best serve Mother's welfare, and that of Michael's children, is to start a collective dialogue, in private," he wrote.